Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Collecting Memorabilia Has Alex Feeling like a Kid

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Collecting Memorabilia Has Alex Feeling like a Kid

Article excerpt

LIKE a starry-eyed kid, Alex Staines just loves collecting sports memorabilia.

The former restaurateur used to be surrounded by walls of memorabilia during the time he owned Hog's Breath Cafe, although all those collectables were sold with the business last year.

However, it hardly made a dent in his collection as the sports tragic has enough memorabilia sitting around his house to fill at least two restaurants.

Alex estimates he has hundreds of pieces of memorabilia including signed and framed jerseys, cricket bats, collector cards, footballs and bar-related memorabilia.

His feature piece is a framed Brisbane Lions jersey from the Lions' inaugural premiership in 2001 which measures a daunting 1600mm x 1670mm.

"I started collecting because I always just loved sport," Alex said.

"Some of the items in my collection I can remember exactly where I was at the time. The treasure hunt is what I've always enjoyed about it."

Alex has been collecting and autograph hunting since he was about 10 years old, so he's amassed quite the bounty of memorabilia over the past 30-odd years.

One of his first autograph experiences was one that still sticks with him today - the time former Aussie cricketer Mike Whitney made him cry.

"I was at the Gabba back in the day where they still had the greyhound track and out the back they had the training nets," he said.

"All these kids would line up with their mini bats and you're putting your mini bat through the fence where they're training.

"All the kids were yelling out 'Whitney! Whitney! Whitney!' - and mind you this was when he was a big deal.

"So he's come over to me and asked 'what's your name?' and I said 'Alex'.

"And he said 'what's your surname?' and I said 'Staines'.

"Then he goes 'how would you like it if I just went Staines! …

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